Physical Therapy D.P.T.


The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program at the University of Vermont (UVM) consists of 102 graduate credits offered in a 3-year full-time program format, inclusive of summers, that leads to a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree. The program is well recognized for preparing DPT graduates to lead as practitioner scholars who  translate evidence into contemporary best practice. The program of study integrates the basic and clinical sciences with physical therapist client/patient management practices and essential skills in scientific inquiry, leadership, business, professionalism, ethics and health policy. Students broaden their professional preparation through participation in 32 weeks of clinical internships interspersed throughout the curriculum. Internships are offered throughout the U.S. in a variety of specialty areas and require student travel to these locations. Assignments are based on students' educational needs and clinical site availability. Students are responsible for all costs associated with clinical internships.

Exceptional faculty role model clinical and research expertise across each of the specialty areas of physical therapist practice while facilitating student development as movement experts who promote health through exercise at the individual and community level. The faculty members below are in addition to those who have been formally appointed as Graduate Faculty members:

Dee, Justine; Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Rehabilitation and Movement Science; MS, University of Vermont, PT, Northeastern University
Kunsman, Michelle; Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Rehabilitation and Movement Science; DPT, Simmons College
Smith, Paula; Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Rehabilitation and Movement Science; DPT, Virginia Commonwealth University, Medical College of Virginia
Westervelt, Karen; Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Rehabilitation and Movement Science; PHD, Bond University, Australia

Program Mission and Vision

The UVM DPT program mission is to prepare DPT graduates to lead and collaborate in the quest of promoting the health of individuals, communities and society through movement and exercise in order to optimize function, activity, and participation across environments. UVM graduates are movement experts who provide ethical, evidence-based, client-centered services in a culturally sensitive manner as they serve society to enhance quality of life. Graduates are decision makers in the primary care team who have a clear understanding of the importance of lifelong learning that will support their client, patient and professional needs.

The program's vision is to be recognized for leadership in its contribution to the creation, advancement, and dissemination of translational research while striving toward excellence to educate DPT scholars who collaborate to "transform society by optimizing movement," and promote individual and population health of our communities and society.

Professional Licensure

Upon successful completion of the program, graduates are eligible to sit for the national licensure examination administered through the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy.  


The DPT  program at UVM  is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education, 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, VA, 22314 (703) 706-3245,email:

Specific Requirements

Requirements for Admission to Graduate Studies for the Degree of Doctor of Physical Therapy

Applicants must complete the prerequisite course requirements and a baccalaureate degree in any major from UVM or any regionally accredited institution. Applicants with a baccalaureate degree from institutions outside the U.S. will also be considered.

Applicants to the DPT program must have a cumulative   GPA of 3.00 or higher  in their undergraduate studies.  All  applicants must complete the following prerequisite courses with a cumulative GPA of 3.30 or higher prior to entry into the DPT program:

  • Two semesters of anatomy/physiology
  • Two semesters of college chemistry with labs
  • Two semesters of physics with labs
  • Two semesters of biology (not botany or zoology)
  • One semester of psychology
  • One semester of statistics

Application Process:

All Applicants must complete the  Common Application through the Physical Therapist Centralized Application Service (PTCAS), a division of the American Physical Therapy Association. Follow all instructions on the site. Application materials should be submitted directly to PTCAS and includes:

  • Three letters of recommendation.
  • Official Transcript(s) from all U.S. and Canadian schools attended. PTCAS and the UVM D.P.T. program accept prerequisite credits from regionally accredited institutions only. For international applicants, transcripts must be translated and evaluated by an official service and sent to the CNHS Office of Student Services.
  • Official Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores. GRE Code is 7708. Minimum preferred scores are 150 Quantitative, 150 Verbal and 4.0 Writing. Scores must be received by the application deadline.

Complete the supplemental UVM Graduate College Application form. Include the following information:

  • Upload a document that reads: "See essay on the PTCAS application."
  • Application Fee
  • Note: No transcripts, letters of recommendation or other materials submitted in the PTCAS application need to be submitted to the University of Vermont.
  • If applying to the combined DPT/PhD in Neuroscience program select the DPT/NGP option on the supplemental application. See website for details.

Complete the D.P.T. Prerequisite Course Completion form.

Minimum Degree Requirements

The UVM DPT program requires successful completion of 102 graduate credits.

Curriculum for Class of 2018, 2019, and 2020:

Year One
ANNB 300Human Gross Anatomy6
DPT 410Fundamentals of Clinical Pract3
DPT 450Professional Form/Leadershp I1
DPT 401Health Systems I - Policy2
DPT 411Movement System I3
DPT 405Clinical Medicine4
DPT 414Clinical Reasoning2
DPT 406Exercise Science3
DPT 415Psychsoc Aspcts Hlth Wellbeing3
NSCI 302Neuroscience3
DPT 408Fundamentals Critical Inquiry3
DPT 420Musculoskeletal Management I4
DPT 451Prof Formation/Leadrshp II-ICE2
DPT 412Movement System II4
DPT 407Pharmacology and Nutrition1
Year Two
DPT 423Neurological Management I4
DPT 421Musculoskeletal Management II4
DPT 426Cardiovasc and Pulmonary Mgt3
DPT 452Prof Formatn/Leadrshp III-ICE2
DPT 493Doctoral Research Project I1
DPT 422Musculoskeletal Management III3
DPT 427Integmnt, Endocrine, Multi Sys3
DPT 424Neurological Management II3
DPT 402Health Sys II-Quality Improvmt2
DPT 494Doctoral Research Project II2
DPT 460Clinical Edu Experience I2
DPT 403Health Sys III-Business Mgt2
DPT 416Rehabilitation Technology3
DPT 425Neurological Management III3
DPT 453Prof Form/Leadrshp IV-ICE/IPE2
DPT 404Health Sys IV-Health Promotion3
DPT 495Doctoral Research Project III2
Year Three
DPT 413Movement System III4
DPT 496Special Topics2
DPT 461Clinical Edu Experience IIA2
Comprehensive Exam
DPT 462Clinical Edu Experience IIB2
DPT 463Clinical Edu Experience III4
Total Credits102

Students will be recommended for graduation by the DPT faculty if they:

  • Receive no more than 2 passing course grades below a B 

  • Obtain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher at the end of their didactic course work 

  • Pass their Comprehensive Examination

  • Pass all clinical internships and clinical education coursework expectations during their clinical experience and receive no more than one U grade in a clinical education course (that was successfully retaken for a S grade)

  • Illustrate evidence of professional behaviors commensurate with professional doctoral practice in physical therapy

Limited Waiver Option

The DPT program faculty, under special circumstances, may allow a waiver of up to 6 credits based on prior knowledge. A course waiver form inclusive of prior knowledge supporting documentation must be submitted to the Chair of the DPT Admissions, Progression and Retention (APR) Committee and Program Director (PD) at least 2 weeks prior to the semester where the potentially waived course is offered. The DPT APR Committee will review all requests for recommendation to the PD.  Students will receive notification of decision in writing and the Graduate College will be notified when a waiver has been approved.. The student assumes responsibility for all content of any approved course waiver.

Comprehensive Examination

The examination takes the form of a small group research project or a systematic review that culminates in a written paper and an oral dissemination/defense. The written paper and presentations may take multiple formats and must be satisfactorily completed by the end of the 2nd  year of the  program  and prior to beginning DPT 461 Clinical Education IIA. Should students not pass the comprehensive examination, they will have one additional opportunity to remediate and provide evidence of achievement of the learning outcomes of the comprehensive examination prior to being able to progress to their clinical rotations.

Requirements for Advancement to Candidacy for the Degree of Doctor of Physical Therapy

Successful completion of  all graded graduate credits with a 3.00 GPA or better and the comprehensive examination.